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Saints Row team shows off reboot gameplay, says it’s ‘not backing down’ from change

‘We get it, it’s new and it’s a shock reaction to a reboot like no other’

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

On Wednesday, developer Volition revealed a new direction for Saints Row, it’s mayhem-fueled open-world gangster game series. The new Saints Row is a reboot, Volition revealed, with all-new characters in an all-new location that will bring the series back from supernatural ludicrousness to street-level ludicrousness.

What it didn’t show much of on Wednesday was gameplay. On Friday, Volition and publisher Deep Silver showed what Saints Row will look like beyond the pre-rendered trailers. A new seven-minute video preview of the game shows off its new, younger, up-and-coming criminal cast — including player character The Boss — and the opposing gangs players will shoot up on the streets of Santo Ileso, a Las Vegas-like town in the American Southwest.

In between peeks at the new bad guys (mercenary company Marshall Defense Industries, self-styled anarchists The Idols, and Los Panteros, tough guys that bring sledgehammers to a gun fight), you’ll hear from Volition developers about what’s changing and why they opted to reboot Saints Row after 2015’s Gat Out of Hell, in which you literally fight Satan.

How strongly Saints Row fans will cotton to the reboot’s changes remains to be seen. Opinion is divided, based on reaction to the debut cinematic trailer, but Volition says it’s sticking to its guns. On Twitter, the studio responded to a fan who complained about the new direction, saying, “We are not backing down on this game. We get it, it’s new and it’s a shock reaction to a reboot like no other.”

The new Saints Row is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC (via the Epic Games Store), Xbox One, and Xbox Series X on Feb. 25, 2022.

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